ALCOE V STATEMENT

Document Sample
ALCOE V STATEMENT Powered By Docstoc
					                               ALCOE V STATEMENT

             The Fifth Asia Church Leaders Conference on Evangelism
                     Called by the Asian Lausanne Committee
                         26-29 August 2002; Seoul, Korea

                             Partnership in the Gospel
                    The Lausanne Movement in 21st Century Asia


        The Fifth Asia Church Leaders Conference on Evangelism (ALCOE V) was
held as part of the continuing process in Asia to accomplish the vision of Lausanne
and Lausanne II in Manila, and to build on the work of the four other ALCOEs held
previously.

1.     Preamble

        We, the 125 participants of the ALCOE V, having gathered from 20 countries,
give thanks to God for His gracious love in bringing us together. We celebrate His
goodness to us and His gift of salvation offered to the whole world. We are conscious
of His call to us to go and tell the world about this Good News of salvation which we
have in Jesus Christ. Therefore we come to seek Him, so that we may know His will
and leading for His church in Asia at the beginning of the 21st century, in order that
we may be faithful and fruitful in our service to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

        We are deeply grateful to the Korean Lausanne Committee for World
Evangelization for so kindly hosting this meeting. We are also deeply grateful to the
pastors and members of the Seoul Presbyterian Church for their gracious and
sacrificial service. Their contribution has been a great blessing to all the participants
of the conference.

        We are also conscious that we are meeting in Korea, a land which God has
blessed so much over the last fifty years in the growth of His church. We are
challenged by the commitment and sacrifice of the Korean Church over this past
century, and we wish to learn from their example. But above all we thank God for His
faithfulness to His people in Korea and pray that His favor and blessings will continue
to stay with the Korean Church so that they may be a great blessing to others.

2.     The Context of Mission in the 21st Century

       As we prepare ourselves to serve God in the task of Christian mission, we
recognize that we live in a fast moving world. Changing trends in Asia call for the
church to become more aware of the context within which it communicates Christ.
Globalization brings the whole world within the reach of Asians. Modern
communication techniques offer increasing potential to link with people worldwide.
Yet the church within each of the various nations and people groups of Asia needs to
maintain its own identity in order to be effective and faithful. Urbanization has
brought large masses of people together. Economic, sociopolitical and environment
problems need to be addressed by the Christian community in its expression of the
gospel. The gospel must indeed minister to the whole person if it is to be effective in
the midst of the constant changes of Asian societies.

        In addition to this, events of the past decades have increasingly drawn
attention to the growing intensity of inter-ethnic and inter-religious tensions
throughout the world, not least in Asia. The wars in Bosnia and Kosovo, the growing
difficulties in regard to religious freedom as experienced in India in recent times, the
on-going Palestinian problem, the events of September 11 and persecution of
minorities in Islam-dominant lands are only some of the more prominent examples of
the same problem. In some current situations like Sulawesi, the very survival of the
Christian church is at stake. In others like Laos and North Korea, the church continues
to face intense restrictions and pressures under totalitarian regimes. Therefore the
church needs much wisdom and prayerfulness in knowing how to fulfill the call of
Christ to proclaim His salvation in the midst of such complexities.

3.     Some God-given Means for the Task

        In seeking to obey Christ’s calling to mission, we also recognize that He has
given to us many important and effective means for the accomplishment of this task.
This conference has reminded us of some of these. They include:

i.     The importance of careful research to help us understand how God uses
       human factors to bring people to faith in Christ.
ii.    The importance of drawing upon the examples of those whom God has used in
       history, e.g. the great Asian Christian leaders of the past and Korean Church,
       and using them as models for us.
iii.   The importance of expressing the gospel in word and deed, as well as through
       ‘signs and wonders,’ so that the gospel will impact society, and open people’s
       hearts to Christ.
iv.    The importance of networking as we face the complex problems before us so
       that we can respond to the mission challenges effectively by sharing of
       information, concerted planning and synergy in efforts.
v.     The example and commitment to mission of churches in many parts of Asia,
       and the need to bring this challenge to those churches not yet involved in
       world mission.
vi.    The importance of helping Christians to discover a clear sense of their
       identities in Christ which are also properly rooted in their respective cultures,
       so that they can in turn proclaim the gospel with clarity and power to those of
       their own communities.
vii.   The crucial role of the church as God’s instrument in mission, and thus the
       need to pray for God’s continuous work of revival in its midst, so that its life
       will always be marked by the gifts of joy, holiness, truth, unity, love and
       mission which Christ gives to it (John 17:13-26).

4.     The Challenge Before Us

        We in the Lausanne Movement are deeply aware of the rich heritage that we
draw on. Lausanne in 1974 and Lausanne II in Manila in 1989 together articulated
Christ’s call to the whole church to proclaim the whole gospel to the whole world.
Whilst giving theological priority to evangelism, because only repentance and faith in


                                           2
Christ can address humanity’s ultimate problem of sin against God, the Lausanne
movement has all along insisted that the gospel of Christ addresses the whole person
and the whole world. We are therefore called to holistic mission. Thus we will
continue to proclaim the salvation and love of Christ through the Word, deeds of love
and action for justice, and through the ‘signs and wonders’ of the Holy Spirit in
healing and deliverance ministries.

        We are reminded that the task before us is immense. Asia has less than 20% of
the land mass of the world, but almost 60% of its population. It consists of hundreds
of ethnic groups, and thousands of languages. Four of the world’s largest mission
fields are found here: the Buddhist world (from Sri Lanka to Japan), the Hindu world
(South and South-east Asia), the Islamic world (from West Asia to Indonesia) and the
Confucian world (China and Korea). Only some 8% of the population knows Christ as
Lord and Savior, and in some countries the figure is as low as 0.2%. A large majority
has probably never even had the gospel explained to them in a meaningful and
contextual manner, nor have they been touched by the love of Christ through His
people.

        Whilst some speak triumphantly of reaching all the unreached within a
generation, we recognize that the reality is often quite different from the rhetoric. The
accomplishment of this immense task will require fervent prayer, maximum effort,
careful planning and selfless sacrifice. Yet even here we do not despair. As history
demonstrates so clearly, God is faithful. If we walk in obedience to Him, He can do
far more than we can ever expect or ask. We look to Him for all that is necessary to
pursue the task of the evangelization of Asia and the world with energy and
faithfulness.

5.     Conclusion

       The Lausanne Covenant continues to provide a biblical basis for challenging
our churches to give priority effort to the responsibility which God has given us to be
His ambassadors, so that all the peoples of the world will come to hear the good news
of God’s saving love in Christ. We, as Asian Christian leaders, standing on the
promises of God, commit ourselves to this glorious task entrusted to us by our Lord
Jesus Christ, knowing that the power of the Holy Spirit is ours as we move forward in
partnership to make known the whole gospel throughout Asia and the world.




                                            3